Cécile de France shines as Sister Smile
by Fabien Lemercier
Belgian director Stijn Coninx’s film about the 1960s star and singing nun Sister Smile [+see also:
film profile] hits French theatres today. Piloted by France’s Paradis Films and launched by Océan Films on 283 screens, the feature stars fellow Belgian Cécile de France.
Rejecting the quiet life mapped out for her by her parents, Jeannine Deckers joined a convent near Brussels. Unable to give up music, she composed a hit song and became famous as Sister Smile, selling millions of albums worldwide.
However, staying true to herself wasn’t always easy. De France commented: "She was first and foremost a rebel and nonconformist. But she was also a woman who took an interest in the social realities of her day and in the humblest people". Recalling that Sister Smile turned the Church and her fans against her with a song in favour of contraception, the actress described her as "a punk before her time!"
Produced by Eric Heumann for Paradis Films – who left the director free to work solely with Belgian actors – Sister Smile was co-produced by Les Films de la Passerelle, Eyeworks and Kunst and Kind, with the participation of Canal +, TPS Star, RTL-TVI and VTM and backing from Eurimages.
Also hitting screens today are three French comedies: Eric Lavaine’s Incognito [+see also:
film profile] (Pathé Distribution - 459 screens); Agnès Obadia’s Romaine par moins 30 [+see also:
film profile] (“Romaine at Minus 30”), starring Sandrine Kiberlain (produced by Agat Films & Cie - UGC Distribution on 236 screens); and Roger Delattre’s Hallelujah! [+see also:
film profile] (produced and distributed by EuropaCorp on 405 screens).
The line-up also includes acclaimed films Happy Sweden [+see also:
interview: Erik Hemmendorff
interview: Ruben Östlund
film profile] by Ruben Östlund (distributed by KMBO) and Pandora’s Box by Turkish filmmaker Yesim Ustaoglu (distributed by Bodega Films), as well as four other European co-productions: Pablo Fendrik’s Blood Appears, Lucrecia Martel’s The Headless Woman [+see also:
film profile], Barmak Akram’s Kabuli Kid [+see also:
film profile] and Tatia Rosenthal’s $9.99.
Documentary releases include Gaël Mocaër’s No Popcorn on the Floor (ADR Distribution), which takes a behind-the-scenes look at independent movie theatres.
(Translated from French)
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